Riverfront revive concept a Youth Committee initiative - 4/05/2011
Members of the Youth Committee will soon receive a report outlining the progress made so far on the Riverfront revive concept, an initiative of Cr Jack Bullock, Chairman of the Youth Committee and Youth Cr Steven Shwamm.
Youth Cr Steven Schwamm made a submission to the Council’s 2010/11 Draft Annual Plan suggesting that the proposed development of Wanganui’s riverfront area include a space for youth entertainment.
A survey was undertaken to better understand the entertainment needs and wants of Wanganui’s young people and found that as a provincial New Zealand town, many of Wanganui’s young people visit other centres at weekends and evenings for entertainment.
“There is anecdotal evidence from many young people that they tended to go out of town at weekends for entertainment, as they did not feel there was a lot of nightlife suitable for them in Wanganui,” says Cr Jack Bullock. “They were spending substantial amounts of money in other towns and cities, which could have benefited our local economy and businesses.
“We decided to look into the issue further through a survey and found that the riverfront area was a place young people identified with and may have potential as somewhere to develop a venue for young people to go in the evenings and spend their time and money in Wanganui.
“By creating a more vibrant, exciting and safe nightlife in our city, not only will young people benefit but visitors to Wanganui will also be attracted by more evening entertainment and activities and the positive atmosphere it can create.
“It’s not Council’s role to set up clubs – that’s for the business sector. We feel that the information we’ve gained is valuable to pass on to local bars and business people in the riverfront area. These people may be in a position to develop the kind of vibrant and attractive venue young people are asking for.
“The Youth Committee has a role to act as advocates for young people in our community and this is a great way of us being able to listen to what they have to say and passing it on to the people who may be able to make it happen.”